Court stops team picked to oversee reforms in tea industry

The High Court in Nairobi has Friday issued orders stopping the implementation of a Gazette Notice by Agriculture CS Peter Munya.

The notice sought to form a National Steering Committee on The Implementation of Tea Reforms in Kenya; after the process was challenged by KTDA lawyer, Benson Millimo.

In a Judicial Review application, the lawyer argued that some of the persons appointed in the committee have publicly pronounced themselves adversely against KTDA; have cases in Court on matters relating to the operations of the company; while others have broken contractual relationships with the Applicant.

The lawyer argued that the said Committee members have not only openly disclosed open bias against KTDA but are also conflicted and unfit to preside over any issues relating to the company.

He also argued that there isn’t an existing law empowering CS Munya to form such a committee; adding that no law grants him power to appropriate public funds vested to the Agricultural Food and Fisheries Authority – as was contained in the Gazette Notice.

In her ruling, Lady Justice Pauline Nyamweya said: “…the application had met the threshold of an arguable case and is therefore entitled to the leave sought to commence judicial review proceedings against the Respondent.”

She directed that the matter will come up for mention on 21st September 2020 for further directions.

CS Peter Munya had on the 25th of June 2020 Gazetted a Notice appointing an eight-member committee to, among other tasks, evaluate the policy, regulatory and administrative reforms in the Tea Value Chain announced by CS Munya.

The team comprises veteran tea broker Jacob Kamau Kihiu who will chair the committee, former PS Irungu Nyakera, former MP Magerer Lang’at, Fredrick Muthuri Muriithi and Nation Editor John Kamau as members.

Other members are former Tea Board director David Chomba Gachoki, Catherine Nyamboke Mogeni who hails from a family of large-scale tea farmers and Wanja Michuki, daughter of late former Minister John Michuki.

 

  

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